Adult Child

We’ve done it – we’ve managed to raise one child to become an adult. It’s a strange feeling to think that our daughter is no longer legally a child and is responsible for herself – well sort of! My daughter would like all the freedom that comes with being an adult but isn’t so keen on the responsibilities.

It only seems like yesterday she was a newborn baby swaddled and nestled in my arms. It’s hard to comprehend that she is now an adult. I still want to wrap her up and keep her by my side, but while that isn’t possible, I am at least proud of the woman she is becoming.

It really doesn’t matter how old your child is, you will always want to protect and care for them. My daughter is currently on ‘schoolies’ (an end of school tradition where kids go on holidays to celebrate graduating). This is the first time she has holidayed without a chaperone and I must admit I’ve had sleepless nights wondering if she is ok. It’s not that I think she will do anything stupid but where you get a group of teens conglomerating under the influence of alcohol and god knows what else, there is a propensity for trouble. I just don’t want her to get caught up in any violence or drink spiking etc. I know that as our kids grow up I have to learn to give them freedom, but until she is back home safely I think that I will feel uneasy.

It’s hard to believe I have an eighteen year old daughter as I still only feel eighteen myself. I look forward to the progression in our mother/daughter relationship from me being the disciplinarian to being more of a friend. In fact, since she has finished school I’ve noticed a shift in our connection, as she is now happy to hang out with me for a coffee and she has begun to confide in me more.

Parenthood is a journey through your kid’s different phases and now we embark on our next phase.

So today we celebrate our daughter’s milestone birthday in her absence and can relax in the knowledge that we’ve succeeded in getting our first born to adulthood. One down – three to go!

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GROWING UP

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I was recently having a deep and meaningful conversation with an eight year old girl about growing up. She told me that she couldn’t wait to be an adult so she didn’t have to go to school and she could choose what she would do every day.

I explained to her that she is currently in the best time of her life. As a school kid, she gets around twelve weeks of holidays each year and that when she is grown up she will only get four weeks annual leave per year. I also explained that instead of going to school until 3pm she would have to work until at least 5pm, probably even later. Finally I discussed with her the fact that all her hard work and effort would allow her to earn money that she would have to use to pay bills for food, clothing, housing and all her entertainment, whilst at the moment her parents pay for all those things for her.

After this enlightening speech I taught her about the old adage ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ and said that although it might look like much more fun to be a grown up, the best time of your life is when you are a kid. There aren’t too many adults that wouldn’t like short days spent with friends, where you get multiple breaks to play, plenty of holidays and don’t have to pay for a thing!

As with anything in life, you often don’t appreciate how good things are until they change. So my advice to this little girl was to not wish away her childhood but to embrace and love life now, because once she is grown up, there’s no going back!

(Photo courtesy of stockimages, freedigitalphotos.net)